Sample Forum/Quiz Answers Analyzed
Your responses--whether pasted into a forum response or emailed directly to the
course instructor--should be at least 10 lines long to earn full credit, usually
up to 25 points (double the length and substance for double the points). The forums
(and email responses) substitute for quizzes in an on-campus course, so the
responses in a forum/email should be thought of as brief, open-book essays rather than the glib
one-sentence, off-the-cuff remarks of a chat site.
- Students should show their judgment by selecting a question from a set of prompts and
generating a thoughtful, detailed, insightful answer of their own to the question. Reading
other comments already at the forum is strongly encouraged.
- Students should show their judgment by replying to answers from other students
already at the forum about works they have read in order to show their reasoned
perspective on that reading.
- Students should show tact and judgment in commenting on the essays of their
classmates or others.
Sample Answer with Commentary: Full Credit
The contrasting examples below should help to show you that the writing for this course
is most like the "persuasive" writing you did for ENG 111. Making
reasonable claims is not enough; to earn full credit, your reasoning must be based clearly
on evidence from the readings of the course.
In her response, Dawn is analyzing how a group of minor characters think about
the story's protagonist. Her answer is about one page long and appears in
the left column with the professor's commentary in the blue column on the
|Re: The Cautious Citizens
||You can modify the "Subject" line to put a title on your answer.
In an email message, you can also title your answer to characterize it, in
addition to stating which task you are doing.
|From: Dawn Cantelmo
Time: 4:44:46 PM
|Include your name in order to get your grade--and so responses can mention
your name. Email is already stamped with date and time, but do include
your name and perhaps your code name in email addressed only to me.
||This heading appears between the forum
response heading info. and the body of your message, but not in email.
|Question: Are the chorus right about the gods speaking directly to
Oedipus because he answered the riddle? Does the chorus get anything right? If they are not
spokespersons for the playwright, what kind of portrayal of human beings are they?
||In order to have the question in front of you as you type, you can copy
and paste it into your response; then your readers and you can see the question you are
| The chorus are cautious of stating frankly their
thoughts about the connection between Oedipus and the gods. They think of him as "the
joy of Thebes" and their "good helmsman." They even dare to entertain that
he might be a child of the gods, "Who was your mother? who, some bride of Apollo...Or
was it Hermes...Or Dionysus?" But it is the priests who seem to think that the gods
could be in direct dialogue with Oedipus. In asking him for help to rid Thebes of its
plague, they rate him "first among men" in all things including
"face-to-face encounters with the gods." To Oedipus, they state how that in
solving the Sphinx's riddle, " A god was with you" and suggest, "Perhaps
you've heard the voice of a god...what do you know?"
||Dawn's topic sentence focuses her writing on
the attitude of the characters she is explaining.
Dawn quotes phrases
and brief sentences from the work that are relevant to her claim: the chorus and priest(s)
think more than they state aloud. Good answers mix claims and support.
| But Oedipus was not in direct contact with the gods
because in three places we hear how Oedipus goes to outside avenues to find out
information from the gods. First, in his own journey to Delphi he sees
the Oracle of Apollo; then when he sends Creon there, and finally
when he sends for Tiresias, who is said to see "with the eyes of Apollo."
However, I believe that there was a strong connection between Oedipus and the gods. The
gods manipulated Oedipus to meet a predestined fate, which in his arrogance, he thought he
avoided. The gods planted the riddle's solution in him - no one else could answer the
riddle because on one else was supposed to answer it. It was a critical point of
fulfilling the prophecy.
||Dawn sees more than the characters do.
When disagreeing with the expressed view of the characters (the chorus, in this
case) she lists evidence from the story that gave rise to and supports her
perspective, marking the list of reasons with transition words: first,
Dawn infers (guesses wisely) an explanation for a crucial
event in the story and relates its importance.
| So who are the chorus? They are the one voice of
the masses, the citizens of Thebes; they play a subservient role: "I never look to
judge the ones in power," [they state in unison]. I think that the chorus act as a
verbal mental process for survival during the crisis. The chorus reacts to what they see
and are told. They reflect a response to the scene presented to them. They guide, soothe,
question, restate, examine. They verbalize the way thinking is done: guessing, thinking,
reacting, reasoning, feeling through the situation to find the safest, soundest foundation
for survival. They come to conclusions based on their belief in what becomes proven. They
don't always get things right because they are in metamorphosis. And to them conclusions
of truth are not as important as conclusions for survival.
||Dawn paraphrases the question before answering directly.
Her explanation builds on the examples she has already given (e.g. in listing the
kinds of thinking the chorus displays, which she already previewed for us).
essay, these claims could be supported with examples, but in a quiz her logic is clear
enough because they are consistent with the view that the chorus is
Sample Answer with Commentary: Partial Credit
The chorus was really a pain, in more ways than one. As you are
reading the play stopping to read the chorus response was slowing down the flow of the
|No examples or quotations are included. The student is
onto something (the choral passages are much harder to read because they are more
poetic--with more metaphors and allusions to the gods and mythology than the usual spoken
passages). But this realization isn't fully formed.
|It also showed again how everyone is looking for someone to follow, as
were the chorus in the play. Whatever was told to them they felt correct, 'wrong'!
||This idea is similar to Dawn's characterization of the
chorus, but it has no details. So this response is "short"
in that the evidence is missing to support the claims.
Here's a longer sample forum
with more details about criteria for effective responses.